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Library and online resources for Architecture

Searching Strategies for Databases & Online Catalog

You can find information on your subject by using the Mississippi State University Libraries Online Catalog & available databases. The searching strategies will work in the catalog and databases.

Two types of searches will help locate books: the "SUBJECT" and "KEYWORD" searches.

The Subject Search
Use this search when looking for books about a subject, such as museums. If you are looking for information on an architect, you will enter the architect's name (last name, first name). For example (Hadid, Zaha).
The Keyword Search
Use this search when looking for resources that you do not know the subject heading for. Keyword searching will search the entire text.
Example: If you are searching for gothic cathedrals - the catalog will search for the words gothic and cathedrals anywhere in the document. To get the results you need, put the two words in quotation marks - "gothic cathedrals."

You will need to add quotation marks at the beginning and end of phrase.
Example: "God is in the Details"

Boolean Searching (AND, OR, & NOT) to find information:
Boolean searching is used to show the relationship between words.

Frank Llloyd Wright AND Taliesin = results will have everything that has those two words, but not appearing in a resource individually.

Stormwater OR "urban runoff" = results will include everything that includes the words together or individually in a resource

modular NOT "shipping containers" = results will include all modular, but not shipping containers.

Truncation is known as a 'Wildcard' search. By adding an asterisk (*) to find resources containing all spelled variations of a word or other endings to the root of a word. Be careful because some truncation will give you everything, meaning more than you bargained for.
Good Example:
deconstruc* = results will include deconstruction, deconstructing, deconstructive, deconstructed, etc.
Bad Example:
Mar* = market, marketable, marguerite, marathon, marionette, maraschino, etc.

Serendipitous Browsing for Literary Resources

Woman browses books in an unknown library

"Woman browses books in an unknown library" by Nathan Williams/ CC BY SRR 2.0

Serendipitous Browsing leads to great finds in the library!  You can do this without a computer, just take your self to the circulating collection and look to see what you can find!  Use the Library of Congress (LOC) Classification System link to search physical areas of the library. The numbers and letters on the spine of books help you find any subject area you are interested in.  You will find information you may not necessarily find in the online catalog.  Just use the chapter titles and indexes to find what you are looking for.